Apple CarPlay on Ford F-150, how to connect

Ford F-150 supports Apple CarPlay that lets you access your iPhone apps like iTunes, Google Maps and Spotify through the touchscreen of your vehicle. You can also make phone calls, send messages or use navigation with voice commands using Siri.

Ford F-150 Thirteenth generation – (photo by Ford)

Enable CarPlay and Siri on iPhone

You must have iPhone 5 or newer device with iOS 7.1 or newer version to use Apple CarPlay on your F-150. Before you begin, ensure CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone. Also, make sure that the “Press Home for Siri” option is enabled under “Siri & Search” in settings.

If you can’t see CarPlay or “Siri & Search” under your iPhone settings, then go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and make sure both CarPlay and “Siri & Search” are enabled.

Connect Bluetooth

You should first pair your iPhone to the SYNC3 infotainment system via Bluetooth, but this is not mandatory for using CarPlay. In your vehicle’s display, touch “Phone”, then “Add Phone”. Next, in your iPhone go to Settings > Bluetooth and then touch “Sync 3” under “Other Devices”. Next you will get a prompt in your vehicle displaying a PIN code, confirm by touching “Yes” and your phone will be paired.

Enable CarPlay in F-150

You may first have to enable Apple CarPlay in infotainment system settings before you can use CarPlay on your F-150.

Connect iPhone to F-150’s USB port

Plug in one end of Apple provided lightning cable to your iPhone and the other end to CarPlay compatible USB port on your vehicle which usually has smartphone symbol printed on it. If you’re unsure which USB port supports CarPlay on your particular F-150 variant, then consult your vehicle’s user manual – or you can try plugging in the cable, one by one, in all the USB ports in dashboard and center console.

USB ports on Ford F-150 are in the center console, just below the climate control buttons

Start CarPlay

Once you connect your iPhone to the compatible USB port on your F-150, Apple CarPlay should launch automatically in the infotainment system display. Confirm any prompts that may appear in your vehicle and on your iPhone.

Apple CarPlay active on Sync3 system on Ford F-150 13th gen

If CarPlay does not start automatically, then touch CarPlay icon in the list of apps in the infotainment display.

Using Siri on Ford F-150

Siri is Apple’s voice recognition feature that helps you to concentrate on the road while driving your F-150 as you can control the functions of the iPhone with voice commands.

The virtual assistant allows you to place phone calls, listen to and send text messages, play music on your iPhone, get directions and use other functions of your iPhone hands-free. You can even ask Siri for current weather conditions, stock prices or upcoming events on your calendar.

To access Siri, press and hold the talk button on the steering wheel of your F-150 until you hear Siri tone.

Talk button on the steering wheel of Ford F-150

You can also access Siri by holding down the bottom left button in the CarPlay app.

Which F-150 models support CarPlay?

2017 and later model year Ford F-150 vehicles are compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Using CarPlay in older F-150

It is possible to use CarPlay in 2016 and older F-150 vehicles with SYNC 3 system, but you will need to replace the USB port module in your vehicle with a new one that supports CarPlay. The USB port replacement part HC3Z-19A387-E can be acquired from any Ford dealership and it costs about $50. You will also need to update your SYNC 3 operating system to the latest version.

In this video, Matt shows you how to replace the USB control module in 2016 Ford F-150

Do not disturb while driving

When driving, keep your eyes on the road. A quick look at the navigation device is of course allowed in order not to miss the next junction. The “Do not disturb while driving” function can be activated so that your iPhone does not distract you with unnecessary notifications while driving your F-150. iOS 13 extends this option to CarPlay as well. On your iPhone go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, then scroll down and touch “Activate” under “Do not disturb while driving”. You can now switch on the automatic activation for CarPlay.

Using Google Maps on Ford F-150 with CarPlay

If your iPhone has iOS 14+ operating system, you can freely use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay on your F-150. Apple now allows the use of Google Maps in the home screen. Apple has allowed the competitor’s map service in its car application since iOS 12, but the homescreen that was newly introduced in iOS 13 in 2019 could not yet be equipped with maps. Here, users were still limited to Apple’s own map service. With iOS 14 that changes. Now CarPlay automatically selects the last service used for the view.

Google Maps icon on Apple CarPlay in Ford F-150

Using Waze navigation on Ford F-150 with CarPlay

You can use Waze navigation app in CarPlay if you have iOS 12 or higher operating system installed on your iPhone. Download and install Waze app from App Store on your iPhone, then start CarPlay on your F-150’s infotainment system display. Then touch Waze icon to launch the app.

Waze app icon in Apple CarPlay on Ford F-150

Watch this quick video by Sawgrass Ford to see how you can use Waze on your vehicle.

Using Spotify on F-150

You can use Spotify to stream music on your F-150. Just install the Spotify app from App Store and its icon will appear in the infotainment display when CarPlay is active.

Spotify playlist in Apple CarPlay on SYNC3 system in Ford F-150 13th gen

You can use voice commands to play music hands-free on Spotify with Siri. Just add “on Spotify” at the end so that Siri knows which service you’re referring to (e.g. “Hey, Siri, play my ‘Your Mix of the Week’ playlist on Spotify”).

Siri can play songs, artists, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more. You can also “like” music, ask what’s playing, and control playback (e.g. volume, skip song, play / pause).

Not all apps are compatible with CarPlay

If you think you can use all your iPhone apps in your Ford F-150 with CarPlay, then you’re wrong. The selection of compatible applications is limited, and you have to live with restrictions, especially with messenger apps. iMessage and WhatsApp can be controlled almost exclusively via Siri. That means you cannot see your message history, but only have new messages read out to you or even dictate messages yourself.

The following apps can be used with CarPlay on your F-150, among others: music, phone, news, Podcasts, Audio books, Audible, Google Maps, Sygic TomTomGO, Whatsapp, calendar, Settings, Telegram, Waze, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Pandora and Amazon Music.

Sort apps in CarPlay

You can sort CarPlay apps in your F-150 quickly and easily through your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, then select your vehicle under “MY CARS”. On the next screen you can rearrange app icons by touching and dragging them. You can also hide icons by touching the minus button on them.

Author: Nabeel K


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